Did music write the novel? What soundtrack was with you as you wrote?

In the last post were two links to music that inspired the 9-yr debut novel i am hate:  Basinski – disintegration loop1 Basinski – Cascade I don’t think I’ve written much wi…

Source: Did music write the novel? What soundtrack was there when you wrote?


Did music write the novel? What soundtrack was there when you wrote?

In the last post were two links to music that inspired the 9-yr debut novel

How To Kill Your Dad: 

Basinski – disintegration loop1

Basinski – Cascade

I don’t think I’ve written much without music playing. youtube has given me more gifts than I can count; I crave new music, unearthing at least one or two pieces a week by composers or songwriters I’ve never heard of, and they really have made all the difference. The characters absorb the energy of the music, weave through traffic to violin picks, take drugs to acid house, torture themselves or others coolly to minimalism’s coolness, or the rain pours down to eno’s electronic heartbeats. It’s a constant co-writer of books, blogs, emails and journals.

What about you? Who are the composers, the singers, the song-writers, the players, that bring you to your optimal feeling and imagining moments as your pen bridges the gap between one real mind and a million invented unreal realities? Come on, you don’t do it on your own do you?

What about reading? Do you take books with silence or sound?

Could one piece of music move someone the same way? At primary school, they do Big Writes, when children together in one class write individual stories while listening to the same piece of music. Sometimes music moves us the same, but the words we respond with are rarely the same.

Here are 3 more pieces I used and used and used. Some of the tempo and flavour of h8r, Joy and Chib all come from two underworld albums: second toughest in the infants

I owned this on cassette when i was in a band going crazy around Hamburg. i remember talking to a loaf of bread while listening to this on a walkman. Years later, it’s energy and poise have infected each main character’s character.

Album number 2 : barking

Later edits, and the very strange, terse love or feeling between two of the characters – you’ll guess which ones as you read – were inspired by the happiness and bubbling just out of control that I feel when listening to this album. Will it do the same for your writing?

Piece 3: teenage scum by the goldsharks


This track was on when Chib was going mental about the Kilmarnock Knife. (Please, you have to read the book to understand it.) The sheer mentalness of it all is in this track. The band went through three names, goldsharks, videofan, carbon plan and agent x.

i see bars big fat judges born to be delinquent it seems

drugs and stealing cars and girls what a way to wake up to the world

Next post, I’ll share the painful aching tracks that underpin the horror and tragedy of a couple of key tragic, heart-breaking moments in How To Kill Your Dad

Please tweet @leegoldground and share what you got from this post, or to share your own influences.




What music did you listen to while writing your book?

What goes into a novel? In the nine or so years it’s taken to get to finishing the novel this page lives for, a lot of coffee and wine has been mixed with the ink. You too, huh?

But what about the music? Did you write in silence? Was it random radio, or deliberate choice? Did it change depending on the scene?

I feel I’ve consumed more than a life-time of music while writing just one novel. Some of it deliberate, some of it deliberately unknown and new to push me to a new place on the page.

To say thank you to the music,  I’m going to share some of it here in case it can find a new audience, and hopefully inspire more characters, more scenes, more books.

Basinski. From a side bar on a John Cage page. For the last six months of editing, from scene cuts down to commas with wrong spaces around them, I fell under the spell of two pieces, disintegration loop1 (with footage from the sky back on 9/11 on video) and  basinski – cascade I found them perfect to focus on finding the errors in the book, because they just repeat melancholic/hypnotic loops for ages, almost turning editing into m-edit-ating. Losing hours at the desk finding errors in the text. Owe a massive debt to this incredible composer/arranger.

More words on more music in future blogs. If you like the idea, keep coming back to see what else got inside my head while I was helping get the characters and story out of my head.  Hope you manage to listen to the tracks above.

What about you? What music was there with you keeping you and your characters alive? Please share and let’s get the writer’s music choice conversation trending. Please leave comments below.